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Helen Mirren listened to Golda Meir’s speeches in make-up chair to prepare for movie shoot

76th Cannes Film Festival – Jeanne du Barry – Premiere And Opening Ceremony
Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren listened to Golda Meir’s speeches as she transformed into the former Israeli Prime Minister in the make-up chair for her latest movie.

In Golda, which is set during the 19 days of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, the British actress plays the first and only female head of the Israeli government.

To transform into the character using prosthetics, Mirren spent two to three hours per day in the make-up chair and she used that time to listen to Meir’s speeches and meditate on the character.

“I’ve never done anything like that before. It was an adventure,” she told DuJour magazine. “I got so used to being that person in the daytime that when the makeup all came off and I saw myself as I am, I’d forgotten that was what I looked like. It’s that acting thing – am I becoming her or is she becoming me?”

The 78-year-old actress explained that the creative team tried out many different variations of the look before settling upon the one that felt “sufficient”.

“We went through various manifestations; going further, taking pieces away,” Mirren recalled. “Eventually we got to a point where we felt it was sufficient but hopefully not too much. With that sort of makeup, you’re wandering into dangerous territory. Obviously, it’s there and you can’t say it’s not there. But on the other hand, the audience knows I’m not an Irish woman living in Montana.”

Director Guy Nattiv revealed that he never saw Mirren out of costume during the entire shoot and added, “She was Golda. Working with her was a dream come true.”

Golda will be released in U.S. cinemas on Friday.

– Cover Media